Saturday, June 13, 2009

Microblog (that turned out to be not so micro) on Testing (from the NY Times) (picture from another blog)

I read the Times this morning as I often do on Saturday mornings and I was taken aback by a story on China's testing policy. Some people are really against tests and I too do not think paper pencil tests or multiple choice tests could ever be better than my preferred test, practical clinical real world experience tests, but they are the easiest to grade ... whoop di doo.

I read this article though and I couldn't agree more about how this is definitely not a good practice because one test should never be the end all doorway to a person's future but you know what? I can identify with this situation and I think, good, this is how the world really works. I'm a multiple victim of this type of test and sometimes I sit in the dark room in my mind thinking is this really how the world works? Isn't there a better way? Obviously yes but probably not more efficient or cost effective. It's a shame though to think that a test is the gateway to your future.

I really was encouraged by these students who decided to enroll in the military type academy that would hopefully help them to pass their exam though. And by the end of the article, they did make the cut. That's great. I feel their rapture and wish for the same joy in my future. It may not be the best situation or set up to prove one's readyness for the future but when people wonder why people who come from countries like China or India after being educated are so smart, this is why. And, it shouldn't be a crime (or seen as one) to want your country's students or graduates to have a certain standard to take on the world. I think more of this attitude is needed in the United States (probably disagreeing with a lot of my friends in education). In fact, I think this is the essense of NCLB even though I don't agree with the implementation. We are too lax when it comes to allowing our students to graduate with the needed knowledge and letting them go without the study skills they need as well. So many students including me had no training in how to study.

Anyway, this article touched off more continuous feelings to get rid of the test barrier in my life. I've been to review programs and though they were expensive and time consuming, they were not what I needed to prepare for my test. What do I need to overcome this barrier? I still don't know but I'm urged by these students' stories to find out. I've let Step 2 and previously Step 1 ruin many parts of my life from relationships, missing family events, emergencies, funerals, to jading me and making me extremely critical in my overall attitude about life. I've sacraficed and lost much too much to just let it go (although some say I should). Is it my stubborness that is wrong? Am I following the path God has set before me in Education? Should I go back to the health field which I still love so much. Do I have to give it up, should I? Some friends would argue that one is clearly my intended and God given path and others would tell me never give up no matter what. I count myself as a devout follower of God but I don't see the solution and no path is clear no matter how many times I ask for clarity. Go one way and you will definitely make it but longing for the other for the rest of time, go the other way and you have a history of not being able to cut it hanging over your head which might destroy you psychologically when it's over. Life is a crazy and more often than not, one test IS the key to the future. I wish that I was prepared better for it and had a situation more like those in China, mostly the passing part. I've been to review programs though, there's something else I need. Not sure what, but I'm going to try to find out.

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